Ministry: Assistance in Karabakh conflict’s settlement – one of Russia’s priorities

Assistance in the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is one of Russia's priorities, the Moscow-Baku news portal reported citing the Russian Foreign Ministry.

"Assistance in the settlement, in particular, of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, is one of our priorities fixed in the Foreign Policy Concept of the Russian Federation. We will continue to conduct the mediation work taking into account the Russian co-chairmanship in the OSCE Minsk Group, as well as the agreements reached with the leadership of Azerbaijan and Armenia in the trilateral format," said the ministry.

The ministry noted that Russia and Azerbaijan are linked by strategic partnership relations, based on the principles of equality and good-neighborliness, centuries-long traditions of friendship, common history and culture, intertwined fates of millions of people.

"The ties between the two fraternal peoples have rich history, are rooted in the depths of centuries. We consistently support further comprehensive and mutually beneficial development of political, trade-economic and humanitarian ties with Azerbaijan. We are convinced that the Russian-Azerbaijani partnership meets the fundamental interests of the peoples of our countries, serves stability and security in the South Caucasus and the Caspian region," added the ministry.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.